Many couples struggling with marital debts that has been piling up every since their wedding day, have successfully used bankruptcy to get a fresh financial start. But what happens when couples are in debt and heading towards the divorce court?

Things to consider before you file divorce with debt:

  1. Debts accrued during the marriage will be the responsibility of both parties–even after divorce. If one spouse (or now ex-spouse) can’t pay, the creditors will pursue the other spouse.
  2. Quickly filing bankruptcy after your divorce and “sticking” your ex-spouse with the bill may comeback to bite you.  The debtor who receives a bankruptcy discharge on debt accrued during a marriage may be ordered to pay “maintenance” to the non-filing spouse as compensation.
  3. Filing a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing for divorce is usually the quickest, cheapest and least painful way to handle unmanageable marital debt. There are exceptions and in those cases a debtor considering divorce can file bankruptcy separately while working with a bankruptcy attorney to handle the special issues that arise when bankruptcy is filed separately especially when divorce is involved.

If you are considering divorce and are unable to pay your marital debts, you may want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your bankruptcy options. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also an option for divorcing couples; but may be more complex due to the nature of divorce.  A bankruptcy attorney can guide you through these options.